Forward Back Across the Bridge to the 21st Century

Today, in Charlotte, NC, the Democrats will convene their convention to re-nominate Barack Obama as President of the United States. There are two ironies they will do their best to ignore. First, four years after a concerted effort to paint Bill Clinton as a racist, Barack Obama depends on Bill Clinton’s presence and blessings to secure his re-election. Second, and most importantly, after a several month effort to claim the Republicans want to go backwards, the Democrats will rely on a bunch of former Governors and a President elected two decades ago promising a bridge to the 21st century to make a case for their slogan “Forward”.Consider that for a minute.Last week in Tampa, FL, the Republicans put on stage two current and recently elected hispanic governors, a recently elected hispanic senator, a soon to be elected hispanic senator, a soon to be elected black congresswoman, a recently elected Indian governor (a second, Bobby Jindal, would have been there too but for Hurricane Isaac), a bunch of other freshly elected Republicans, and a forty-something Vice Presidential nominee. This is the current Republican bench. The Democrats are desperate to paint them and their standard bearer, Mitt Romney, as relics wanting to go back to the 1950’s. In fact, that is specifically the era the Obama campaign website lists.According to Democrats I’ve talked to, the 1950’s is explicitly stated because black voters understand that to be before the civil rights era and women understand that to be before Roe v. Wade. Those spooky troglodyte Republicans want to reverse the clock on all the civil rights gains.They think this is a winning strategy.Now consider the optics facing the Democrats in Charlotte, NC. They’ve had to make last minute additions to their roster of speakers, including making sure they have a hispanic mayor to compete with hispanic Republican governors and senators. They will also hand their keynote speech over to a man elected two decades ago and out of office for more than a decade to make the case that Barack Obama is the path forward and Mitt Romney is the path backwards.The visual of this is stunning. A rising Republican star, Marco Rubio, introduced Mitt Romney and a rising Republican star, Chris Christie, gave the GOP’s keynote. The Democrats? Well, they’ll have Clinton, Sandra Fluke, and a Kennedy.Bill Clinton promised a Bridge to the 21st Century when he campaigned in 1992. Now more than a decade across that bridge, Barack Obama is dependent on a man his campaign painted as racist to claim that Barack Obama will go forward, back into the twentieth century, and start using Bill Clinton’s economic policies he thus far hasn’t used. Or something like that. Compounding all these back to the future ironies is they’ll be petting the economic philosophy of John Maynard Keynes who’s been dead since 1946.This is not a winning message. And the response from the GOP should be short, sweet, and to the point when the Democrats claim they want Bill Clinton’s tax rates and balanced budget.Okay, we’ll give you Bill Clinton’s tax rates. But you give us his spending rates. Let’s make that compromise and watch the Democrats nuance themselves right onto the Bridge to Nowhere.



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